Protect Your Basket


Source: Tony Manfred from

This Knicks player is not playing defense on a Pistons player in the last seconds of the third quarter, leaving him wide open for a three-pointer, while they were losing by eight points.

Kedric Delaney, Staff Writer

The NBA currently has many elite scorers, but not too many defensive threats like Marcus Smart and Patrick Beverly, who are some of the most feared defenders in the NBA. Now, more of the fame has gone to the offensive threats and playmakers.

While the defensive passion is slowly fading away, the majority of teams need it to keep winning games. According to Radames Mendoza, a seventh grader at McAuliffe Middle School, “[Throughout] the seasons, the NBA has started to lack defense.” For example, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, a top scorer, has a reputation for not playing defense, but he occasionally has highlight plays protecting his basket. 

Many NBA teams are now playing more zone defense than most seasons in the past. Zone defense is giving teams more success because players only guard a certain part of the court. “There’s definitely more use of zone this season,” stated Dallas Mavericks’ Coach Rick Carlisle. “Offenses are getting so good that if you can come up with some kind of defense that can upset rhythm a little bit, it’s viewed as a positive thing.” This type of defense is easier for the average NBA player, who stands at six-foot-seven inches and usually has a wingspan roughly two inches wider than their height. On account of being a sizable, but fit individual, many of these substantially large players take up much of the ¨small¨ NBA court. 

All in all, many teams are getting more skilled with the ball in their hands offensively because that is what they mainly work on during practices. There is a lack of defense because the offense sells tickets and brings in more fans. As many coaches say, offense wins games, defense wins championships.